5 of the Best Ways to Get Rid of an Ingrown Toenail

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

If you have ever had an ingrown toenail, you know how painful something so small can be. Although this is a very common problem, medically called onychocryptosis, this little problem can spiral into an infection so large it requires surgery to repair it. An ingrown toenail will not go away on its own; you need to take steps to take care of the problem.

There are several reasons why ingrown toenails happen:

  • Poor fitting shoes and high heels
  • Diabetes – If you have diabetes, you should see a doctor regarding your ingrown toenails as these can lead to serious complications.
  • Improper cutting of the toenail
  • Injury to the toe or toenail
  • A natural condition where nails tend to grow in a curved or downward position
  • Infections
  • Toenail fungus

Keep reading for the top 5 ways that you can fix that ingrown toenail problem and start feeling better right away.


1. Soak

Foot baths are a very important part of the overall treatment. Soaking your feet will soften the nail as well as the surrounding skin that will make all other remedies you try more efficient. Be certain to soak your feet regularly. Soak your feet twice each day for a minimum of 20 minutes at a time. Use hot or very warm water. Add any of the following healing compounds to help increase your success:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Add two or three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your water. This will help stop any infection that might have started.
  • Epsom Salt – Epsom salt softens the skin and will make it easier for the nail to grow out. Add one heaping tablespoon of salt to your water.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide – Mix a half a cup of hydrogen peroxide in your water and soak for a minimum of 20 minutes. Hydrogen peroxide will soften the skin as well as prevent infection.


2. Cotton Ball Method

After you have soaked your feet, you can encourage the nail to grow in a different direction by taking a very small piece of cotton and rolling it up between your fingers. Take this small roll and carefully place it between your skin and the affected part of the toenail. This might be a bit painful as you do it, but once in place you won’t notice it. This will help the nail grow up and out of the skin, instead of digging it further down into the skin. Leave the cotton in until your next foot soak. Change the cotton after every soak. Continue until the nail has fully grown out.

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